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Dec 6, 2009 12:07 AM

gerard besson paris

we had an amazing dinner there last night. amuse bouches featured a stunning foie gras mousse and perfect gougere. the special starter was a warm potato salad with lobster and scallops. potatoes were bursting with flavor and served with a simple dressing. i had a cold lobster salad with greens, also fantastic and simple.

our mains were wild hare ballotine and partridge. the wild hare was something that neither of us had tried, and was served with a duxelle of cep as well as a rich reduction. the wild hard was gamier than i expected, but my husband raved. the partridge was roasted to perfection and served in pieces with a potato gallette and a superb sauce. both mains were simply and perfectly prepared.

our one dessert was a chocolate caramel ice cream wrapped in hard chocolate. this was not ben and jerrys's chunky junk, but rather a smooth ice cream that was lightly chocolate on the bottom and somehow seemed to change into caramel flavor at the top. very subtle and delicious. the mignardises with coffee were also excellent, only we had no space for them....

we ordered wines by the glass, a champagne each, a white each and 2 reds each, and the sommelier made perfect selections. the sommelier also was the spitting human image of the cartoon character/ resto critic in Ratatouille!

we hadn't had a meal that was was so mind'blowingly good since l'ambroisie. the quality of cooking and classical style was quite similar . the service was superb, and also very personable /unstuffy at the same time. i have found that to be a rarity in france. our check was 380 euro, well less than half of what our last meal at ambroisie cost. a fantastic evening!

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  1. Could you say something about a possible dress code there for dinner? Thank you!

    2 Replies
    1. re: shekamoo

      i read somewhere that it is smart/business casual. my husband wore jeans and a sport coat. several older clients were in suits. the staff are so gracious that it's hard to imagine you feeling awkward without a jacket, but i would wear one, or at least a nice sweater.

      1. re: shekamoo

        I had lunch there a couple of weeks ago (it was great, except for the OK but lacklustre desserts). Most of the customers wore smart casual or business, but there was one table of about a dozen rather boisterous men who were dressed very casually in jeans, T-shirts etc. Nobody seemed to mind, and the general atmosphere is relaxed.

      2. Besson is very special. Some think his food is old-fashioned, but cooking at that consistent level of excellence is never out of style. Price to quality ratio is one of the best in Paris. Glad you had such a wonderful meal.


        1 Reply
        1. re: rswatkins

          I will second your comment.
          Had a fabulous lievre a la royale there last month-in fact they graciously served me a second helping as I was still a little hungry!